Black Cap Barley Spirits w/ Sorrel + Kombucha

A cocktail is always appreciated after a long day working on the land. It's spring, and as the trees start to burst with green, I have been busy trying to get ahead of our winter fire wood supply. As you may know, winters and Maine are cold and long, so plenty of wood is needed to ensure warmth from October through May. Fill up a few truck loads of wood and you will understand just how challenging the work is. That being said, a tasty beverage is a must to relax and unwind from the day.

With wood being a priority at the moment, I have given little attention to the garden. That being said, there's a fair amount of perennials available to me and sorrel is one of my favorite spring greens to harvest and utilize from the garden. Rumex acetosa, or common sorrel is the lemon of the leafy green world, offering a nice acidic punch to soups, sauces, salads, and cocktails. A member of the buckwheat family, the taste is similar to Japanese knotweed and rhubarb. The acidic taste comes from oxalic acid, which is slightly toxic. To minimize any negative effects, it is best to cook sorrel, but on occasion, there's nothing wrong with a little raw sorrel here and there. 

The recipe below features Black Cap Barley Spirits, produced down in Portland, Maine by Maine Craft Distilling. Using Maine grains, MCD, offers an array of unique spirits utilizing everything from blueberries to carrots. If you're every down in the Portland area, check out their tasting room and pick up a bottle or two!

Black Cap Spirits w/ Sorrel +  Kombucha


  • 1 handful sorrel (Im using Common Sorrel - Rumex acetosa)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup crushed ice
  • 2 ounces Maine Craft Distilling "Black Cap BarleySpirits" (Vodka or gin will work too)
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  • 3-4 ounces bubbly kombucha or club soda


  1. Place the sorrel, maple, and crushed ice in a jar and muddle. Add the spirits, cover, and shake well. 
  2. Pour through a strainer into a lowball glass filled with the ice cubes.
  3. Top wth kombucha or club soda, serve immediately. 


photo by Lynn Karlin

photo by Lynn Karlin